Soccer is fast becoming a business, even for the high school and collegiate players. And because of this you’ve got to know how to create a reputation that works for you. While there is protection provided in being a youth and by your parents, some people and places will exploit that. How are you protecting your brand? Your ‘brand’ is how people describe you when your name is mentioned.
BRAND /brand/ noun:
[Y]our “brand” is what your prospect [parents, coaches, future coaches] thinks of when he or she hears your [name].
What are coaches thinking about you?
I once had a professional coach abroad [Europe] describe me in an email to another coach as being like a tiger.
This was in terms of height, speed, and the amount of food I could consume.
However, this coach also described my attitude as atypical of an American; he perceived me as humble, hardworking and quiet.
Showing everyone respect and working your hardest shows people they can trust you.
Your ‘brand’ is all the things I am providing you guidelines for in this guidebook. It includes your level of fitness, preparation for the game and season, attitude on and off the field, extracurricular activities, and the things that you say.
Even your smile, eye contact or lack of are parts of your brand. I recommend smiling when you are speaking with coaches. It’s okay to be nervous, but as long as you are making eye contact, smiling at least a little and being yourself coaches will like you.
For example, your brand might include:
- Your diet, exercise program and your out-of-season fitness and condition
- Quality of your play technically, physically, mentally and how hard you work
- Your friendships
- Your travel habits, activities, and attitudes [e.g., do you consistently break travel curfew]
Setting good habits early
Set your good habits now. Also, know your target ‘market’ [i.e., the specific coaches you are seeking out].
Although unlikely at the collegiate level, you may have a coach who curses you out, so how will you handle this?
How will you handle teammates who do drugs, party, and disrupt school?
These things will probably happen – I have been there.
The worst thing for me was my attitude and arrogance. Ignorant to the fact that nothing I did was unknown and how much it mattered. Good thing my careers still worked out good.
Set good habits early and keep them. You won’t regret it and you’ll help more people besides yourself.
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Highlight your talent with video
Nowadays almost everyone has a highlight video by their Junior year.
The thing is most of them don’t have a good one and there are so many reasons why.
Try to get highlights from club games not high school. If your high school is a top 10 school in the State and you have footage playing against another strong program that could work.
Just know that coaches don’t want to see you playing against weak competition.
Your video might look great, but they don’t care about that.
The number one thing they want to know is who you’re playing against.
The ball control courses give access how to make the best videos. One of the bonus courses shows you how to make a great highlight video that coaches want.
Learn about the college coach and program
One thing you want to do is learn about the program you are showing interest to.
Most players just write letters or send info without ever learning about the school.
Coaches want players who want to play at their program. Showing interest will give you an extra edge over others.
Tell the coach that you like the teams playing style or ask them questions about the program. Learning about the schools you contact shows respect and responsibility.
Create a reputation that works [Be yourself]
Gain knowledge in how to conduct yourself like a pro with good character like this.
Finally, know yourself and what you need to do to improve ‘train up’ your weaknesses.
Don’t ignore your strengths just because you are already strong in that area. It’s important to work on both your strengths and weaknesses.
Keep doing you because no one else has your thoughts, abilities, or playing style.
That’s why the futbol community names certain moves by the players’ names – they focus on their abilities and moves and don’t try mimic someone else. Sure, learn as much as you can, but be yourself and act professional.
Positive smart social media
Social media is huge – and could be the difference between your getting an offer or not.
Colleges want to know you make wise decisions in your content curation and are not prone to publishing your opinions or those of others in an emotional or irrational manner.
Players have lost scholarships because of things they post on social media.
One girl posted her fighting another girl and she lost a full scholarship.
Remember, you want to create a reputation that works, not hinders.
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